Bellator 102 Opening Betting Odds

Bellator 102Tournaments abound in Bellator’s weekly offering, as Heavyweight, Middleweights and Bantamweights are all in action this Friday in Visalia, California. The Bantamweight tournament final doesn’t have the highest billing on the card, but it is one of the more intriguing fights, as it could create a true contender at 135lbs for Bellator. The Heavyweight tournament conversely, is full of recognizable names, but low on top flight skill. Finally, the Middleweight tournament is more akin to Bellator’s earlier seasons, as it seems more likely to discover new talent than rehashing familiar names. Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Bellator 102 at Several Bookmakers. Check them out: ——————– Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals Cheick Kongo -405 Mark Godbeer +285 Lavar Johnson -260 Vinicius Queiroz +180 Bantamweight Tournament Final Rafael Silva -160 Anthony Leone +120 Middleweight Tournament Semifinals Mikkel Parlo -270 Jason Butcher +190 Joe Pacheco -150 Brennan Ward +110 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Just as the Bantamweight tournament final looks the most interesting to me on paper, I also find that line the hardest to decipher. The line in the Pacheco/Ward fight is closer, but with how little we know about both of those fighters, that one is a complete pass to me. In the Silva/Leone fight, I actually lean slightly towards the dog. Rafael Silva is a talented fighter, but he has never faced a truly solid wrestler in his time on the Brazilian scene, or his lone Bellator fight which came against Rodrigo Lima, whose weakness is his wrestling. Anthony Leone has performed well against other talented wrestlers, and while there is danger in him getting clipped on the feet by Silva, I believe he can take the fight to the ground and win a decision based on top position. In the Heavyweight tournament there are just a whole bunch of fighters I don’t feel comfortable betting on. Cheick Kongo is 38 and has well-documented chin issues, Mark Godbeer is taking a huge step up in competition and travelling to the United States for his first fight, Lavar Johnson is 36 and has zero ground game, and Vinicius Queiroz loves to strike but has poor defence and a poor chin. Based on the way the fighters match up, I’m actually far more confident in Lavar Johnson than Cheick Kongo as far as favorites coming through, although Kongo should be able to get the job done as well. The Middleweight tournament almost seems like the winner of the Parlo/Butcher fight is destined to win the tournament, as neither Brennan Ward or Joe Pacheco seems seasoned enough to beat either man, unless there is a whole lot we haven’t yet seen from either of them. As far as the Parlo/Butcher fight does, I like the Dane is a big way. This is his tournament to lose at this point, and I think he’s going to keep the fight on the feet against Butcher and batter him until he either gets a stoppage or wins a lopsided decision. Under 3-to-1, Parlo is definitely someone to consider throwing in a parlay, but I see the line getting bet up from this point. The Ward/Pacheco fight is one I simply can’t provide much insight into, as there isn’t a whole lot available on either fighter. In those cases it’s better to sit back and learn rather than forcing something.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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